If you have a car accident in Oregon, the first thing to do is to make sure you get medical attention and take care of any injuries. After that, you will probably wonder how much time you have to file a car accident lawsuit or claim in Oregon.
In our state, per Oregon Revised Statutes Section 12.110, you generally have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. This is referred to in the legal world as the statute of limitations. Once you have passed the two-year mark from the date of injury, you usually are barred from filing a lawsuit. You also cannot collect compensation from the insurance company after that time has passed.
However, there is an exception when the victim passes away in a car accident caused by another person. In an Oregon wrongful death lawsuit, you have three years to file a lawsuit against the other driver; this is stipulated in Oregon Revised Statutes Section 30.020.
If you are planning to file a lawsuit for vehicle damages only, the statute of limitations is different. You have six years to file your lawsuit, according to Oregon Revised Statutes section 12.080.
Whichever statute of limitations affects your claim in Oregon, if you attempt to file your suit after that time limit has lapsed, you can expect the other driver will make a motion to dismiss the case. The court nearly always grants this motion, unless there is some rare exception related that may extend the filing deadline.
Even if you think your case will be easily resolved through the auto insurance claim process, you should leave a good amount of time to file suit if you need to do it. At the very least, it almost always helps in accident settlement negotiations to leave the lawsuit option on the table; the insurance company and defendant usually will be more amenable to a fair settlement if they think you may sue.
Another important aspect of car accident lawsuits in Oregon besides the statute of limitations is what is known as ‘comparative negligence.’ This just means that you are able to recover some damages in a car accident if you were partially responsible for the accident. However, your award is lowered according to your percentage of negligence, as determined by the auto insurance company or jury. That share of the blame cannot be more than the other party if you want to collect damages.
For example, say that the jury says your injuries and other damages are worth $100,000. But the jury also says that you were 10% to blame for the accident. In this case, your total damages received would be reduced by $10,000, so you would receive $90,000. If your level of fault for the accident is more than the other driver, you cannot recover any compensation.
If you were hurt in a car accident and another driver caused the crash, you may be able to claim the compensation for your injuries or other personal injury and property losses. Contact The Herron Law Firm at 503-699-6496 - 24/7 today for a Complimentary Case Review.
5285 Meadows Road, Suite 204, Lake Oswego, Oregon